Git Flow vs. GitHub Flow

Git Flow vs. GitHub Flow

Git Flow vs GitHub Flow. Why GitHub is So Popular? GitHub proposes an alternate workflow called GitHub Flow. GitHub Flow has some of the same elements as Git Flow. But unlike Git Flow, GitHub Flow combines the mainline and release branches into a “master” and treats hotfixes just like feature branches

Workflows come in all shapes and sizes. Teams developing web applications have slightly different needs than those working with embedded software. And I’m sure you have probably heard more than one recommendation on the best workflow. With experience it is said that the best workflow is the simplest workflow. It is easier to teach and follow, both of which result in a more consistent application.

What is a Workflow?

Workflow is about controlling the sequence of events that transform a piece of work to ensure every person on the team can use the best tool at the right time.

To put it simply, a workflow is how you get work done. It is a series of tasks you need to complete in order to reach some repeatable business goals. At its core, the workflow is change management. As I have already mentioned before, workflow comes in all shapes and sizes. There is no universal solution for every team’s needs, and optimal workflow enables the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services or process information. The principal ways to manage software in Git Flow and the GitHub floor. These two methods can really help you to manage your project and optimize your entire workflow in the team.

Git Flow Vs Github Flow

1. Git Flow

Git Flow works with different branches to manage each phase of the software development. It is suggested to be used when your software has the concept of release because it is not the best decision when you work in the continuous delivery or continuous deployment environment. But this particular concept is missing.

Another good point of this flow is that it fits perfectly when you work in a team and one or more developers have to collaborate on the same feature. So the main branches in Git flow are master, develop, feature hotfix and the last one is released.

2. GitHub Flow

GitHub Flow is a lightweight branching workflow that supports teams and projects where deployments are made regularly. It is centered around a particular feature and small confined changes.

Here the Master Branch is always production ready. Master is also deployed to production. Development often only happens on the feature branches. The deployment speed is extremely fast here and the last important feature is that it requires a verification for each release.

Major issues of Git Flow

So here many of the developers do not like that new feature branches are started off the developer branch rather than the Master branch or the way it handles Hotfixes. But these are fairly minor issues. But before we move on with the major ones, let me explain you,

What are hotfixes?

Hotfix branches are a lot like Release branches and feature branches, except they are solely based on master instead of the developer. This is the only branch that should focus directly off of the master.

Now, moving onto the major issues with Git Flow, it is much more complicated than most developers and development teams actually required to be. It’s complicated enough that a big helper script was developed to help enforce the flow. Though this is okay the issue is that it cannot be enforced in a get graphical user interface, but only on the command line. So the only people who have to learn the complex workflow really well because they have to do all the steps manually, are the same people who are comfortable with the system enough to use it from the command line. This can eventually be a huge problem. These issues can be obviously solved easily just by having a much more simplified process.

So here at GitHub, they do not use Git Flow. They use a much simpler Git workflow. Its simplicity gives it a number of advantages.

  • It is easy for people to understand, which means they can pick it up extremely quickly and if they ever mess up, they can always undo.
  • We do not need a proper script to help enforce it or follow it. So using graphical user interfaces and such are not a problem.

So the next question that arises is,

Why don’t they use Git Flow at GitHub?

Well, the main issue is deployment. The Git Flow process is designed largely around the release branch. GitHub does not really have the releases because your deployment to production occurs every day. That is often several times a day. The process of testing and shipping is as simple as possible so that every employee feels comfortable doing it.

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